Paperback - November 2014 - AU $45.00

eBook - November 2014 - eRetailers

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This book sheds light on what drought and climate change mean to rural Australians — in their words.

Endurance presents stories of ordinary Australians grappling with extraordinary circumstances, providing insight into their lives, their experiences with drought and their perceptions of climate change. + Full description

The book opens with the physical impacts, science, politics and economics of drought and climate change in rural Australia. It then highlights the cultural and historical dimensions — taking us to the Mallee wheat-belt, where researcher Deb Anderson interviewed farm families from 2004 to 2007, as climate change awareness grew. Each story is grouped into one of three themes: Survival, Uncertainty and Adaptation.

Illustrated with beautiful colour photographs from Museum Victoria, Endurance will appeal to anyone with an interest in life stories, rural Australia and the environment.

- Short description


"In Endurance, Deb Anderson asks how people live with, understand, and struggle with drought as a core component of regional life and personal identity. Rare is the scholar who can leverage the insights of oral histories to engage issues of major contemporary significance. Her success in doing this is one of the defining strengths of her work."
Michael Frisch, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, President, Oral History Association (USA) 2009-2010

"Deb Anderson's deeply thoughtful book takes us into the heart of Australian conversations about the land. Endurance is rich with voices and ideas – with earthed experience – and helps us think meaningfully about climate, culture and identity in Australia today. It’s an impressive achievement."
Tom Griffiths FAHA, W K Hancock Professor of History and Director at the Centre for Environmental History, Australian National University


Paperback | November 2014 | $ 45.00
ISBN: 9781486301201 | 256 pages | 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour illustrations, Colour photographs, Photographs

ePDF | November 2014
ISBN: 9781486301218
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Illustrated with beautiful full-colour photographs by Museum Victoria
  • Outlines the physical impacts and implications of drought and climate change in Rural Australia
  • Contains stories of first-hand experience grouped into themes: survival, uncertainty and adaptation
  • Provides insights into the lives and characters of the people involved


Preface and acknowledgements

1. Drought as a cultural concept
2. Redefining drought
3. Making histories in the mallee
4. Survival, making sense of crisis and ‘making do’
5. Reconciling uncertainty, cycles and change
6: Adaptation in response to a risky climate

Works cited

View the full table of contents.


Deb Anderson is a journalist and oral historian. She has published widely with Fairfax Media, principally for The Age, and recently joined Monash University as a lecturer. Deb's fascination with nature and storytelling stems from her upbringing on a farm in one of the wettest parts of Australia, in tropical north Queensland.